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Morale Declines as Tensions Grow Between Port Richey Police and Chief Robinson

PORT RICHEY – Earlier this month the local Police Benevolent Association (PBA) passed a vote of no confidence over Port Richey Police Chief Cyrus Robinson and Captain Michael Koch but City Manager Matthew Coppler has yet to decide their fate.

11 of the 18 officers who voted in favor of no-confidence still say they cannot work under the current command.

There are numerous issues, according to Port Richey Police Officers who wished to remain anonymous, but the most critical is the disconnect between Chief Robinson and Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. Sheriff Nocco refuses to sign a mutual aid agreement with Chief Robinson due to what sources say is a "long complicated history that includes concerns over criminal allegations against former elected officials."

Port Richey City Manager Matthew Coppler, who is solely responsible for Chief Robinson's future says, "I'm not rushing to make a decision on this issue. I've only been in this position for four months and it would be irresponsible to make a hasty decision without having all the facts in front of me." Coppler alluded that none of the officers had filed a formal complaint, which he said is required in making a decision.

We asked PBA President Nick Marolda about Coppler's response, and he said, "There are no grounds for a grievance. If I had grounds, I would have filed one before we did the vote of no-confidence." Marolda goes on to say, "This is just a voice. Officers are frustrated. They want to have a voice that lets you know that they're not happy."

Due to the working environment, sources say the department's only K-9 Officer resigned and will begin working in Pasco early next month. Sources say if more officers leave the department it will create serious safety concerns for the community.

Last week, Chief Robinson called a meeting with all his officers to try and address their issues. One officer says the meeting was a waste of time and the overwhelming consensus remains that the majority want Chief Robinson and Captain Koch removed.

Chief Robinson has not responded to our request for comment.

 

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